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Old 06-16-2008, 11:09 AM   #1
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Can I Paint a Plywood Subfloor?


Hi!

We are on a limited budget and want to pull up the carpet in our bedroom because it is very unattractive and find the least expensive option to make it look better.

There is the standard plywood subfloor under the carpet. We were thinking of painting it.

Can anyone recommend either a different option or some guidance on how to go about painting the floor, what materials to use, etc.

Thanks!!!!

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Old 06-17-2008, 10:06 PM   #2
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Can I Paint a Plywood Subfloor?


If you think the carpet is unattractive, what do you call plywood? Plus you'll want to avoid going bare footed too. Keep the ugly carpet until you can save up for hardwood or ceramic. It's a good idea to get rid of all carpeting because it makes you sick. Just wait a few more months.

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Old 06-17-2008, 11:14 PM   #3
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Can I Paint a Plywood Subfloor?


Yes, you can paint plywood underlayment, but it won't look good for long. The problem is that plywood underlayment is made from softwoods like fir or poplar, and these just aren't hard enough to stand up to scratches (caused by moving furniture) or dents (caused by furniture or dropping things).

So, yeah, you can paint it, but you'll be wanting to cover it up soon, too.

Consider pulling up your old carpet and using double sided carpet tape to install "Kanga-back" carpet yourself in your house. Kanga-back carpet is the carpet with the foam rubber backing already stuck to it. Spread it out in your room so that it laps up the walls a few inches, and cut it with a razor knife in slits every 4 or 5 feet along the perimeter of every room so that you can tell exactly where to cut it so that it stops right at the wall. Mark and cut, and then pull the carpet a foot or two back and press double sided carpet tape down around the perimeter of the floor. Press the carpet down into that double sided tape, and you're OK for a few years. The foam rubber backing will prevent the carpet from sliding around under foot, and if it starts to lift in the door way, screw down a metal threshold over the edge or seam there to keep it from lifting.
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:22 PM   #4
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Can I Paint a Plywood Subfloor?


Alternatively, pull out your carpet and put down COMMERCIAL wallpaper with a water soluble wallpaper PASTE. The difference between an adhesive and a paste is that an adhesive cures (like cement cures into concrete) whereas a paste dries (like muck dries into mud). That way, you can remove the wallpaper with water in future.

Commercial wallpaper is much thicker and stronger than residential wallpaper, and the vinyl coating is much thicker to stand up to years of cleaning.

Then, paint that commercial wallpaper with a hardwood floor polyurethane to act as a durable wear layer if the floor is attractive. Otherwise paint it with an alkyd or polyurethane floor paint.

That way, in future, you can strip that old flooring off just by poking tiny holes in it with a Paper Tiger and wetting down the floor until the wallpaper paste starts to let go.
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Old 06-18-2008, 06:44 AM   #5
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Can I Paint a Plywood Subfloor?


There is a way to do it and have it come out good. But I'm not even going to tell you how in because your on a tight budget. I would just go to lowes and pick up some cheap tile or hardwood. I know all the lowes in this area are selling a cream looking tile for .77cents a sq/ft....it's not bad to work with I just installed 300+ sq/ft of it.
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:26 AM   #6
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Can I Paint a Plywood Subfloor?


Quote:
Alternatively, pull out your carpet and put down COMMERCIAL wallpaper...
THAT is BY FAR one of THE DUMBEST ideas I have aver heard suggested on a forum. BY FAR!!!

That suggestion was meant to be a joke...RIGHT???
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:38 PM   #7
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Plywood is not great and wont be very attractive but I lived in a house in college where we did just that -stained the plywood subfloor. If you have some area rugs to throw over it its not too bad. Just dont plan on it being really nice and look at it as temporary.
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:38 PM   #8
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Bud:

you said: "THAT is BY FAR one of THE DUMBEST ideas I have aver heard suggested on a forum. BY FAR!!!

That suggestion was meant to be a joke...RIGHT???"

I own a small 21 unit apartment block in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In my storage rooms I have commercial wallpaper on the concrete floors. It's true that those rooms don't get much traffic, but they have no wear layer on them, and they continue to look fine after about 5 years now. If I had painted over them with a polyurethane hardwood floor finish, I expect they'd last as long as hardwood floor finish would last on anything else, including hardwood.

All I guess I can say is that I'm flattered by your remark. I fully expect someone said something to that effect when Galileo suggested the Earth revolved around the Sun, when Pasteur suggested that very tiny "germs" could make people sick and when Newton first suggested there was a reason why things fell when you dropped them.

I'm new to this forum. Why don't you just humour me for a while, and read my posts in your leisure before making such a sweeping assessment of my idea. I assure you that there are so many "very stupid" people on TV that it's easy to assume the world is full of them. My own experience has taught me that they are few and far between. I trust you will find that I am not one of them.
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Old 06-20-2008, 04:30 PM   #9
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Can I Paint a Plywood Subfloor?


Do you have to use tongue and groove for a subfloor on concrete?
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Old 08-17-2008, 03:55 PM   #10
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Can I Paint a Plywood Subfloor?


I AM NEW TO THIS SO.... I WAS WONDERING ALSO ABOUT PAINTING A PLY WOOD FLOOR. I UNDERSTAND THE LOW INCOME PART. I AM ON A FIXED LOW INCOME AND AM ALWAYS LOOKING FOR WAYS TO FRESHEN UP AND UP DATE MY HOME.
I THINK THE IDEA OF WALL PAPER ON THE FLOOR IS INTERESTING. HOWEVER I THINK TO DO IT RIGHT YOU WOULD NEED A GOOD PAPER . THAT I THINK WOULD BE EXPENSIVE WHEN YOU ARE COMPARING IT TO PAINT. BUT I LIKE THE IDEA. I WOULD GO WITH A PLAIN OR "SPONGED EFFECT " TYPE PAPER BECAUSE A PLY WOOD FLOOR IS OFTEN FULL OF BUMPS AND FLAWS. A STRIPE OR STRONG PATTERN MIGHT END OF SHOWING ALL THE INPERFECTIONS. I MAYBE WOULD NOT PUT IT IN A HIGH TRAFFIC AREA EVEN IF I DID SEAL IT WITH SEVERAL COATS SEALER BUT I DO THINK THE IDEA IS A GOOD ONE. I REALIZE NOT ALL IDEAS ARE FOR EVERYONE AND WE ARE ALL ENTITLED TO OUT OWN OPIONS BUT I THINK SOME OF US COULD BE A LITTLE KINDER IN OUR OPPOSITIONS TO ANOTHER'S IDEA. IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT.......... PUTTING WALL PAPER ON THE FLOOR IS A LOT LIKE DEC-CO-PAUGE ( EX. SPELLING ) AND AS LONG AS YOU SEAL IT WELL IT SHOULD WORK. THIS WOULD BE A VERY NICE IDEA FOR THE INSIDE OF THE CLOSET FLOORS, IN YOUR KITCHEN OR BATH ROOM CABINET FLOORS ETC.
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Old 08-17-2008, 07:09 PM   #11
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Can I Paint a Plywood Subfloor?


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Old 08-17-2008, 09:36 PM   #12
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Can I Paint a Plywood Subfloor?


Lady in the Woods:

These people have made floors out of ordinary brown paper:

http://www.thebudgetdecorator.com/fa...her_floor.html

http://asthecrowflies.org/2007/10/14...l-paper-floor/

http://www.democraticunderground.com...dress=287x5019

You might try to register on those web pages and find out from them how happy they are with their floors.

Paper certainly isn't as durable a flooring material as others, but the original poster was looking for a cheap alternative to painting, and one that they could install themselves, and I thought that commercial wallpaper fit the bill. Anyone who's seen commercial wall paper knows that it is very much stronger than regular wallpaper or ordinary brown paper, so commercial wallpaper finished with an alkyd based polyurethane should stand up at least as well as a brown paper floor finished with a water based poly.

Also, I spread the wallpaper paste with an adhesive trowel, but then also used a 9 1/2 inch long piece of 1 1/2 inch ABS plastic drain pipe on a paint roller frame to roll the excess paste out from under the paper as I installed in. (That is, I was jumping back and forth between spreading the paste with the trowel and rolling the wallpaper out into the spread paste.) This not only rolled out any air bubbles, it ensured that the paper was stuck down to the concrete with only a very thin film of paste under it. I felt it was most important to have the paper well supported by the concrete, and that meant having the thinnest film of paste between it and the concrete that I could manage.

Commercial wallpaper comes 4 feet wide, and you can often buy spare rolls of it cheap from the places listed under Interior Decorating in your yellow pages phone directory, but you have to phone around to find out who's got what. If you use a regular wallpaper paste to glue it down with, you also have the advantage (in my opinion) of removing it quickly and easily as well should you need/want to. It's a quick, cheap and easy way to cover up an otherwise ugly floor that unlike painting, also lends itself to equally quick removal. I wouldn't suggest it unless I was happy with the results I had with it in my own building, but I do tell people that the traffic in my locker rooms is very light, so it's not necessarily representative of what can be expected in even a residential setting. On the other hand, I never applied a sealer or polyurethane over my wallpaper flooring.

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 08-18-2008 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:08 AM   #13
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Can I Paint a Plywood Subfloor?


THANKS I WILL LOOK INTO THE BROWN PAPER IDEA AND THANKS FOR THE SITES TOO.
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:36 PM   #14
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Can I Paint a Plywood Subfloor?


will this work even on a subfloor that's, well, not so hot? We've put down vinyl tiles, but are totally disappointed in how they are wearing. The glue is coming up between tiles, and collects every bit of dust and dirt. I would LOVE to have a nice, fresh surface to clean.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:15 PM   #15
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This has to be one of the funniest threads that I have ever read.

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